According to an article Friday on ProBoxingInsider.com, for almost ten years, Chris John has been the WBA featherweight champion. He has continually fought what most consider to be sub par competition, mostly in Indonesia. And while many are focused on Floyd Mayweather's pursuit of Rocky Marciano's 49-0 record, it was actually Chris John who was poised to match that mythical undefeated record.
However, that all came to a crashing end when John suffered his first professional loss when he was unable to continue following the sixth round of his fight with South Africa's Simpiwe Vetyeka in Australia.
John (48-1-3) remained on his stool following the sixth after sustaining a beating, particularly in the fifth and sixth frames. The sixth round also included the long serving champion tasting the canvas.
The Indonesian fighter fought in a reckless manner throughout the fight. Despite having a large reach and height advantage over his opponent, he frequently got in wild exchanges, choosing not to use his jab at all.
John's porous defense showed in the fifth, and a nice counter right, followed up by a big barrage from Vetyeka obviously hurt the champion. Two times he hit the deck in the round, but in both cases WBA referee Gustavo Padilla ridiculously waved them off.
As the fighters entered the sixth, it was clear that John was still hurt. Yet again, a clear shot dropped John, but it was ruled a slip. Finally, Vetyeka used a double jab, followed by a right that floored the champ, and this time the knockdown stood.
John made it to his feet and was saved by the bell. But it was all academic at that point as he was unable to continue.
The victory for Vetyeka came less than 24 hours after South African icon Nelson Mandella passed away, leaving not only his nation, but the entire world in mourning. Vetyeka dedicated his win to the fallen anti-apartheid activist.
"I dedicate this fight to the former president of South Africa, Mr. Nelson 'Mandiba' Mandela. I won this title for him," said Vetyeka.